OnPoint by Keith Ng

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OnPoint: Dear Labour Caucus

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  • nzlemming, in reply to ,

    One of the difficultys in being middle classed, is not figuring out why the iPad won’t show the embedded YouTube files on public address system,

    iPads don't do Flash, from memory. I don't use one myself, but that's what I remember from the launch.

    wild silverbeat

    Well, there's your problem right there - tame silverbeet would have fixed that. :-p

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2937 posts Report

  • Lucy Stewart, in reply to nzlemming,

    iPads don’t do Flash, from memory. I don’t use one myself, but that’s what I remember from the launch.

    Indeed, they're notorious for it.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2105 posts Report

  • Kyle Matthews,

    Not so long ago, Roger Douglas was left, now he's considered right. Richard Nixon was right, although he'd be considered left today. Libertarians are far right, whereas anarchists are far left. Stalin's Communist Party was far left, but Hitler's National Socialist Party was far right.

    That's not a failure of the left-right axis, though it does have failures. That's just perspective from a position on it, and recognition that it and the people on it change.

    On the other hand, Holly Walker is an impressive new MP because she did politics at Otago and Oxford (that well known bastion of hard nosed reality), worked in student media, and was a parliamentary researcher before parachuting into parliament as an MP with no real world experience and for a party that over 90% of New Zealanders adjudge to be worried about issues marginal to their day to day life.

    I hate how university, student media, parliamentary work aren't 'real world' for starters. They're the real world for several hundred thousand people. There's no political party that represents NZ properly.

    Also, unsurprising, parliament attracts political people. That feels better to me than businessmen standing in Tauranga who do nothing and then quit because parliament isn't the real world. No shit it ain't.

    “We’re the party of freedom, equality and fair play” is saying something they have to reckon with.

    But it's meaningless. Every party could say they're about that. It's a bumper sticker, not the basis for identifying your politics.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report

  • mark taslov, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    On a recent post, I got a rather sharp (but civil) rap over the knuckles for carelessly using “tranny” in a way that was read as a slur on transgendered folks.

    Just for the record, I never read it as a slur, you’d used it before, it always felt like an affectionate use, to me. Despite having produced some of the crudest sentences and phrasings in probably the English language, it never completely obscures the reality that you’re a bit of a sweety Craig. Beyond that Guardian piece you linked to at the time, Julia Serano has written, at length, about her personal history of the T-word:

    I would love to see conversations about the word “tranny” reach this level of nuance. Rather than calling out the mere utterance of “tranny,” let’s call out instances in which the word is used to exploit, erase, or denigrate trans people. And rather than simply calling out the fact that someone has used the word, let’s call out the negative meanings behind the usage (e.g., “When you called her a ‘tranny’ just then, you were trying to sexualize/objectify her,” or “…you were implying that she’s not a ‘real’ woman”).

    I would argue that it’s the negative meanings behind word “tranny” that invalidate us, not the word itself. If we only strive to eradicate words (whether it be “tranny” or others), those negative meanings will continue to persist, and they will inevitably latch themselves onto other words. And it is only when we have convinced the much of the cis majority to abandon those negative meanings that the “activist language merry-go-round” will finally stop spinning.

    Last year I found myself alongside some others in an online debate with a Trumpster who was spouting all manner of bigotry and at the end of it, a cisperson informed me that they’d complained to the administrator about the Trumpster’s use of the word “tranny”, encouraging me rather encouragingly to do the same, as if that one word was the stand out in the 20 minutes odd minutes of hate we’d just witnessed.

    At the same time I totally appreciate and respect one’s right to vociferously resist, in the strongest possible legal terms ~ a word is as many things to as many people after all. Taking offence to a slur is quite natural and need not be discouraged ~ we all have our own baggage – I noticed Scarlet thanked you then and there.

    As for being an intractable conflict-seeker, it’s often difficult to fully grasp another’s motivations, and I honestly wouldn’t be surprised if "You don’t exist unless we’re puttin’ our hormones up ya!” may have harvested the odd tearaway.

    Having one’s identity invalidated for decades, basically being told “you: your identity – you don’t exist” is the conflict. Without support networks, without the basic validations that most people quite reasonably expect and take for granted as a privilege, conflict is established as the modus operandi of one’s life, there’s no ‘seeking’ required, it’s there from sun up till sun down every day.

    Everyone is transphobic to some degree, all of us, because our civilisation is transphobic. Very few can begin to envisage alternatives. Some of the worst verbal transphobia I’ve witnessed has been internalised transphobia expressed by transgender people against ourselves, purely an export of ignorance, a folly which I’ve been led to believe is habit forming. Exclusion’s endless duel to the death with Inclusion might be a blinder. But as long as the pathologization of the transgender community remains in the hands of people like Ray Blanchard, progress will remain stunted:

    I would say if one could start from scratch, ignore all the history of removing homosexuality from the DSM, normal sexuality is whatever is related to reproduction. Now you have everything else. I would distinguish between behaviors which are anomalous and benign vs. those that are malignant. So homosexuality would be not normal but benign. Whereas something like serious dangerous sadism would be a malignant variation.

    At the end of the night, one is required to appreciate and distinguish between the degrees of acceptance and prejudice that one might expect from any given individual, and I’d personally rate the odd “tranny” down the lower end of the totem pole compared to say a well-intentioned individual who would pay lipservice to their support for the community, as they habitually employ oppositional sexism framing (10 years after the publication of Whipping Girl), while behind closed doors trotting out the familiar “some of my best friends are transgender and they would be appalled at you getting so het up about the bigotry” – as if we’re the Borg – which is again is much lower down the totem poll compared to Blanchard’s Neo-Freudian depictions and the obstacles to basic legal recognition. Another individual however will no doubt hold opposing views.

    Te Ika-a-Māui • Since Mar 2008 • 2281 posts Report

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